Policy Press

Publishing with Purpose

Why Citizen Participation Succeeds or Fails

A Comparative Analysis of Participatory Budgeting

By Matt Ryan

Published

Jul 15, 2021

Page count

242 pages

ISBN

978-1529209921

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Jul 15, 2021

Page count

242 pages

ISBN

978-1529209945

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press
GBP 26.99 GBP 21.59You save GBP 5.40 (20%)
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    Why Citizen Participation Succeeds or Fails

    Matt Ryan’s landmark comparative review of participatory budgeting, or collective decisions on how public money is spent, reveals the factors behind its success in achieving democratic engagement.

    The culmination of ten years of research into participation, this is a systematic analysis of how, when and why citizens gain control over these important decisions. Comparing global examples of both positive change and notable failure, the book provides persuasive evidence and guidance for future public involvement in taxation and spending.

    For advocates and participants of democratic reform and those with interests across political science, this is an essential guide to one of the most significant democratic innovations of our times.

    “Matt Ryan gives answers to the pressing question of how participatory decision-making can and will work in our future democracy. This book is an important contribution for realizing citizen-driven democracy.” Brigitte Geißel, Goethe University Frankfurt

    “Essential reading for academics and practitioners who care about evidence-based democratic innovation and forging lasting change.” Mark Evans, Director Democracy 2025

    "Despite the faltering of electoral democracy, Matt Ryan’s carefully researched book shows how and why innovations like participatory budgeting are enabling the democratic project to deepen and progress. An essential contribution to the rapidly developing field of democratic innovation." Mark E. Warren, University of British Columbia

    "Matt Ryan’s novel approach does an excellent job of demonstrating when and why certain citizen participation programmes are more likely to succeed. This book makes great use of QCA methodology to present the most comprehensive analysis of scholarship on participatory budgeting." Brian Wampler, Boise State University

    "Offering nuanced and intriguing answers to an apparently simple question, Matt Ryan combines a commitment to democratic reordering with hard-nosed political science. This is an excellent book." Graham Smith, University of Westminster

    Matt Ryan is Associate Professor in Governance and Public Policy at the University of Southampton and a UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellow. He is founding Co-Director of the Centre for Democratic Futures, and Policy Director at the Web Science Institute.

    Part I

    1. Understanding Participation as a Response to Democratic Deficits

    2. Participatory Budgeting: How Do We Understand Exceptional Democracy?

    3. From Exceptions to Cases of a Participatory Budgeting Phenomenon

    Part II

    4. Comparing Participation Using Qualitative Comparative Analysis

    5. What Participatory Democrats Expect

    Part III

    6. Necessary Conditions for Democratic Reform

    7. Success: How Citizen Control of Politics is Achieved

    8. How Citizen Control of Politics is Negated, and the Puzzles that Remain

    9. Conclusion: Democratic Innovations after the Beginning